For Patients


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Laxatives can help relieve and prevent constipation.

Not all laxatives are safe for long-term use.

Overuse can lead to dependency and fewer bowel movements.



Type of     laxative

How they work

Side effects

 Oral stool softeners

(Colace, Surfak)

Adds moisture for easier bowel movements

Electrolyte imbalance if used over a long time

Oral osmotics

(Milk of Magnesia, Miralax)

Adds moisture to the colon for better bowel movements

Bloating, cramping, diarrhea, nausea, gas, increased thirst

 Oral bulk formers

(Benefiber, Citrucel, FiberCon, Metamucil)

Creates softer stool for easier bowel movements

Bloating, gas, cramping or increased constipation if not taken with enough water



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